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Crazy in love: Don't let it swallow you whole

Elise Stephens blogs about relationships, life, and inspiration at www.elisestephens.com. She received the Eugene Van Buren Prize for Fiction from the University of Washington in 2007. Her novel Moonlight and Oranges was a quarter-final...

how to stay sane when you're head over heels

You two just had a great first and second date. He wants to see you again and your world is tumbling upside down: Your focus is gone at work and you keep burning your dinner when you cook because Cloud Nine has swept you up, up and away! Unfortunately for you, the world doesn't go on hold at times like these.

Woman looking at man

It's very tempting to cancel the rest of your social events and try to just scrape by at work, but you'll have to discover how to make this new romance realistically work in your life. Hollywood makes it look easy, but it's not!

Keep a balanced social calendar

Don’t flake out on your friends and commitments now that you’ve got him as an excuse. Catching up for your regular coffee date with your girlfriends is even more essential now, because you’ll have something huge to discuss and get advice on. It’s easy to let careful decisions fly out the window because things are so exciting, but keeping your friends close will give you the much needed support network and keep your head level even while it’s still buzzing. There’s another plus to keeping appointments with your other friends, too. It will give your new guy a chance to do the same thing and will let you both feel more excited to see each other on your dates when you connect, rather than drowning in all this new attention with no chance for a break.

Communicate with him at regular but not continuous intervals

Checking your voicemail, sending text messages, Facebooking or tweeting will eat away all your brain power, energy and productivity, unless you regulate it. If you want to let him know you’re thinking about him, consider texting him on your lunch break, or maybe even schedule a time to chat for a few minutes on the phone. Even though you’re both really into each other, tons of messaging can be mistaken for "smothering." If you’re careful about how often you communicate, you’ll protect against this and be able to better focus on your tasks and responsibilities throughout your day.

Invite him to join your regular routine

If you lead a busy lifestyle, it can look like the only way to make room for a love life is to cut away something else that you love. Don’t let exercise, healthy eating or your passions fall by the wayside to make room for new dates. Team up, instead! Are you both athletic? Go jogging together! Do you both love to cook? Start your date by preparing the meal in one of your houses. Do you volunteer somewhere? Ask if he wants to join you in tutoring kids with their writing. This is an amazing way to get to know each other in real life situations.

If you can figure out how to get through life with your man in a healthy way, you’ll bring greater joy, energy and delight to the relationship, giving it a great chance of growing into something wonderful that will last a lifetime.

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